Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Group Tightens Its Vise

Election returns have come in for Duke's Academic Council, the body tasked with implementing Duke's principle of faculty "self-governance." The body is already run by Group of 88 stalwart Paula McClain.

Indicating just how much the Group's pedagogy dominates Duke's Humanities departments, four of the five vacant Humanities positions went to Group of 88 members, led by extremists Wahneema Lubiano and Karla Holloway. (Antonio Viego and Priscilla Wald were the other Group members to be elected.) The quartet joined Group members Stanley Abe and Leo Ching, who already serve on the Council.

On the Social Sciences list, Anne ("Group of 88 for Credit") Allison captured a slot, where she joins "clarifying" faculty member Kerry Haynie.

Defenders of the academic status quo dismiss outside pressure on the grounds that professors are best equipped to deal with internal misconduct or behavior that violates the academy's norms or ideals. It's hard to reconcile that vision of the academy with a Humanities faculty that would give 80 percent of its vacant Council seats to Group members.


bill anderson said...

I think this is the verdict on the Duke faculty as a whole. There are good people on the humanities/social sciences faculty, but they are overwhelmed by those who pretty much see their role as being political propagandists.

Remember how we were told that these 88 faculty members were a "minority" of loud people, but did not represent the views of the "Duke community" as a whole? I think we have our answer to that one.

This tells me that the Change of Venue motion based in large part on the actions of the Duke faculty was right on the money. If the Duke faculty were to be repudiating the extreme views of the G88, the latest elections are a strange way of doing that.

Anonymous said...

Academic freedom is in grave danger, if not already in its death throes at Duke. Look for there to be an increasing number of "politically correct" classes offered and more required as core courses.
It will not surprise me to someday see Ward Churchill as a member of one of Duke's humanities departments.

Anonymous said...

Only idiots and ass-clowns, like the G88, aspire to such ridiculous service obligations. Real scholars simply do not have time for such clap-trap. That the "worst-of-the-worst" at Duke are busy running "Dookie-U" off a cliff turns the question about Duke's demise into a question of "when" and not "if."

What a joke--and the latest (current) admissions round will supply further evidence. In May, when admitee deposits are due, Duke will find itself scrambling to fill its beds with Ivy-league rejects.

A Duke DaD said...

For us non-academics:

Is Duke's Academic Council a policy setting group, wielding power, or is it one of many advisory groups?

How does the Academic Council influence curricula, hiring, promotion, speakers, programs, funding, policy?

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:02:

Just because one was rejected by one of the Ivies does not make one a lesser intellectual light. In fact, given the pc that infects the Ivies, one is probably better off not attending one of thsoe so-called "august" institutions. However, I do think that it is a matter of time before the Duke brand (already diminshed in the circles in which I travel) even more so due to the highjacking of the social sciences by two-bit "scholars" of the Gang of 88 group. While the hard sciences still enjoy (and I would suspect will continue to) an excellent reputation for academic rigor, the same is not true for those in the humanities. When there is only one way to look at a question and that way is forordained, then academic freedom of inquiry does not exist. This is the path that the social sciences at Duke are treading.

Anonymous said...

So, Basket Weavers and Fudge Makers continue to reward themselves. What's new?
However the quality of life is a product of the NERDS. The computer you look at, internet, the highways and vehicles that bring you your food, the buildings you live and work in, the presses that grind out your books, the internet itself represent nothing that is not accomplished by a LIBERAL ARTS MAJOR.
I knew this in 1960, I know it now.
Don't worry. be happy.
North of Detroit.

Anonymous said...

And, folks, the 88 will continue to rule. Good counting KC, seems you've got the message.

Anonymous said...

as a matter of fact being forced to attend meetings such as those of the "Academic Council" at a university is form of punishment/penance for having been a member of the Group of 88 ..

Anonymous said...

It seems that Duke/Durham continues on its path to become the "Detroit of the South." How else do you explain its proclivity for electing the dumbest and most nefarious among them? While this is going on, the Duke Chronicle can sponsor another contest to select the best picture that exemplifies diversity. Or, they can take it up a notch and have the students express their feelings about diversity with elbow macaroni and Elmer's glue. Duke is becoming a kindergarten. MOO! Gregory

P.S. I realize that the hard sciences are still well-respected at Duke, but the Gang of 88 has already made overtures in that direction.

Anonymous said...

I am embarrassed for Duke that they have done nothing substantive to fix what is obviously a corrupt, dishonest and broken institution.

No justice, no peace said...

This doesn't bode well for Duke...

Trustee Screening Committee

Appointed by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees; advisory to the
Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees. Evaluates nominations for
positions on the Board.

Paula McClain (Political Science, Academic Council Chair)


one other...

Gary Packwood said...

A Duke DaD 4/1/09 2:59 PM said...

...For us non-academics:
...Is Duke's Academic Council a policy setting group, wielding power, or is it one of many advisory groups?
...How does the Academic Council influence curricula, hiring, promotion, speakers, programs, funding, policy?
Just image our forefathers arriving in this country knowing in the old country, the king/queen appointed university presidents who then picked faculty who were politically 'in-tune' with the president and the king/queen.

We just flipped that process so that faculty are involved in nearly every aspect to the academy to include especially curriculum and who is employed as a professor.

It is this DUE PROCESS given to all types of issues where faculty/administrative interactions are so important and the concept of academic freedom is embraced and protected.

It is also this Due Process that 88 faculty members ripped asunder and pitched back into ancient history when they found the Duke University men's lacrosse team guilty without fact or evidence. I did not think such action was even remotely possible in the United States within the academy.

Anonymous said...

People get the government they deserve. While democracy occasionally produces a rogue, when we get consistently bad leadership, it is because those who elect that leadership wanted it. This principle is at work in Durham, where the citizens fully deserve the leadership they elected. In the same way, the election of the Academic Council by the choice of the faculty is the responsibility of the members of the faculty. They have the leadership they asked for and that they will follow.They know who the group of 88 is, their agenda and how this election will be perceived by the outside world. God help them all.

Anonymous said...

Is Allison a Communist?

Anonymous said...

Duke's Academic Council has become the cell for political activism and the perpetuation of self-interests. Is anyone really surprised given the Board of Trustees' continuing support of the clowns who lead the institution?

With the support and encouragement of Dickie Brodhead and Bobby Steele, the Academic Council now completes the mutual admiration society.

The meetings of the Academic Council should produce much needed new revenue for Duke's "reknown" medical center because of the shoulder and elbow injuries incurred by the Council members patting themselves on the back.

Perhaps the new Council members will propose guidelines for the number of years a so-called scholarly book can be listed by a professor on his/her curriculum vitae as "forthcoming".

The asylum finally has been completely taken over by the inmates.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that the more often these people are publicly wrong, the stronger they seem to get?


Don Eskridge said...

Besides their basketball teams, why would anyone want to attend Duke? This is your brain on drugs.......This is your brain at Duke. Sounds like the same thing to me.

No justice, no peace said...

The more things change, the more they remain the same…

“The way in which Guernica was used to screen the destruction of the POUM was typical of the brilliancy of Comintern propaganda, handled by two inspired professional liars, Willi Muenzenberg and Otto Katz, both later murdered on Stalin’s order. Throughout the Spanish war, Stalinism was assisted not only by superb public relations but the naivety, gullibility and, it must also be said, the mendacity and corruption of Western intellectuals, especially their willingness to overlook what W. H. Auden called ‘the necessary murder’. When Orwell escaped and sought to publish an account of the POUM scandal, ‘Spilling the Spanish Beans’, in the New Statesman, its editor, Kingsley Martin, turned it down on the grounds that it would damage Western support for the Republican cause; he later argued that Negrin would have broken with the Communists over the POUM affair if the West had been willing to supply him with arms. But when Orwell’s exposure appeared in the New English Weekly, it attracted little notice. The intellectuals of the Left did not want to know the objective truth; they were unwilling for their illusions to be shattered. They were overwhelmed by the glamour and excitement of the cause and few had the gritty determination of Orwell to uphold absolute standards of morality, or the experience of the horrors that occurred when relative ones took their place…” Modern Times, Paul Johnson

The chapter where this appears is titled “High Noon of Aggression” and among other topics, deals with the Spanish Civil War and the influence of the Communists, Fascists, and Nazis – especially the Communists.

It can hardly be said that “gritty determination… to uphold absolute standards of morality” is a defining characteristic of those leading and teaching at Duke.

"...intellectuals of the Left did not want to know the objective truth; they were unwilling for their illusions to be shattered."

That almost perfectly describes the Klan of 88, excepting the term "intellectuals.

Debrah said...

TO (10:16 AM)--

Because no one around them will speak up and keep speaking up against their methods.

Even good people in the academy or those associated with the academy won't say anything against them if it is going to be used for attribution, publicly.

The other day I was talking to an acquaintance. I was a friend of his relative as a result of a brief---very brief!---splash into the real estate business in years past.

This person is not an ideologue or a pedagogue or anything offensive to the sensibilities of most normal Gang of 88.

But I could not get this person to say anything negative about the lifelong hustler Timothy Tyson.

Tyson is an acquaintance of this person. They run in the same Triangle circles---both are authors.

If you can successfully put someone like Tyson in the "author" category.

He wouldn't entertain a conversation about the Lacrosse Hoax for any length of time.

What really surprised me is when he said that we will never know exactly what happened in that house the night the lacrosse players hired hookers.

And you know.....I wanted to go into all the details of why we DO KNOW that NOTHING HAPPENED.

However, I didn't want to attack this man and get into an argument so I just dropped it after a while.

Even someone as intelligent and as void of a race/class/gender agenda as this could not bring himself---for whatever reason---to see the true nature of someone like the Gang of 88 and their mascot Timothy Tyson.

No one will put themselves on the line.

They play their part inside that world.

Take their salary.

And go home.

Anonymous said...

To build on North of Detroit's point about who makes stuff happen in this world . . .

Universities, non-profits, and mainline Protestant churches that are financed by the generosity of others can't expect poets and philosophers to help them out during this recession. As Arthur Brooks, the author of Who Really Cares? pointed out in a recent WSJ column, philanthropy from more conservative Americans is more inelastic than philanthropy from more Lefty Americans. In other words, conservatives will be more likely to maintain giving levels (or show less reduction in giving) than their Leftist counterparts.

Oddly, some of the people who are most dependent on philanthropy, are also the quickest to trash traditional values and free markets. The strongest attacks come from "higher" education (esp. the humanities and social sciences), charitable outfits that freely spend money that someone else earned (via capitalism), and the pulpits of dying mainstream churches.

Anonymous said...


The problem is that people have no ability to select government at Duke. The Department's are controlled by insiders who exclude the public and other professors.

There is no way to influence the Department by voting. People who might find their activities irritatting work all day to pay the taxes that support Duke and are taking care of their kids. They have no time to march and attend protests. They will vote if someone will let them. But the professors are not about to let real public oversight.

I hope Stanley Fish and all all other intelectuals are happy with his creation.

Gary Packwood said...

DN 4/02/09 :: 10:16 AM :: said...

...Why is it that the more often these people are publicly wrong, the stronger they seem to get?
Probably because no one is quite sure of the level and depth of support they enjoy.

I'll bet there are a dozen or so alumni who financially support members of the G88 and have been supporting them for some time. In fact, I would imagine that level of financial support was a condition placed on the hiring of certain members of the humanities who have turned out to be a mob.

If they have a power base with the alumni and I was on the faculty, I would rather wrestle with a Puff Adder before I would take on a faculty colleague with a EXTERNAL constituency. Especially if the President was doing absolutely nothing to reign them in.

I suspect the alumni leadership will eventually move to 'de-fang' the splinter group that is supporting the mob...and sadly we will probably never get to see the fireworks. It will just happen!

Gary Packwood said...

From Brown University :: READE SELIGMANN'S:: Bio

The man is already putting an exclamation point on the answer to the question: "What can one man do?" Reade is a significant leader with the service efforts on campus, such as the Innocence Project Run in 2007 and the Pawtucket Coat Drive in 2008. He was recognized by the IMLCA (Intercollegiate Men's Lacrosse Coaches Assoc.) for such altruistic actions with their inaugural Boston Market Humanitarian Award. His focus is now on the spring, and placing himself in great physical condition. His loss of 25 pounds from a year ago, all the while maintaining his strength, is testament to his determination to dominate in 2009...2008: Received the Inaugural IMLCA Boston Market Humanitarian Award...Started five of 13 games for the Bears...Scored five goals and had three assists...Netted two goals in Brown's win over Delaware...Registered eight ground balls...Before Brown: Transferred to Brown from Duke...Two-time ACC Academic Honor Roll...Registered two assists over six games in 2005 and scored a goal, playing in six games, in 2006...Secondary School Background: A graduate of the Delbarton School where he lettered in lacrosse (3) and football (3)...Two-time All-Conference, All-Area, All-State and All-American in lacrosse...National Senior Showcase participant...Three-time All-Conference selection in football...Led Morris County in scoring (football) his senior year...Honor Roll every semester at Delbarton...Personal: The son of Philip and Kathleen Seligmann of Essex Falls...Has three siblings, Maxwell, Cameron and Benjamin...Enjoys snowboarding and surfing...History concentrator.


haskell said...

Duke ain't the only one with real serious problems:

Ward Churchill triumphant,2933,512259,00.html

Anonymous said...

Re KC's Headline.

It could just as descriptively read "The Group Tightens Its Vice."

Anonymous said...

Trust me: Duke will try to hire "Prof." Churchill--Churchill and Duke are made for each other. And what's just one more academic fraud for Duke? Heck, at least Churchill managed to publish *something* (even if it was plagerized pap). More than most of G88 have managed to do.

Anonymous said...

The University did it's job there and fired Ward for misconduct. It was a jury of his peers that bailed him out

Anonymous said...

I can only pray that if Duke hired Ward Churchill it would finally wake up the apathetic alumni to all these PC shenanigans.

Anonymous said...

Ward Churchill is a fraud and a small mind, but he would tower over the Group of 88.

Anonymous said...

>>> ...trillions of words of left criticism

Assuming 100 lefties writing 10,000 words of left criticism every year, it will take millions of years to produce trillions of words...

Lady does not know how to count.